During the summer months, as the temperatures get higher, so do utility bills. Want to save more this season? Try these smart tips to stay cool, and save money at the same time.

Run a fan

Save on AC costs and run a fan instead. Ceiling fans, or other styles of fans, are much cheaper to run than a standard AC unit. If you’re spending time in one room, say the living space, watching television, turn off your air-conditioning and flip on the fan. You’ll stay cool for much less.

Use a draft blocker

Can you see a sliver a light coming in from underneath your doors? If the answer is yes, it may be wise to invest in some draft blockers. Small openings underneath your door might not seem like a big deal but they can really run up your utility as air leaks out. Experts say that drafts are equal to leaving your air conditioner on with a window open.

Turn off the lights

Saving energy is as easy as flipping a switch. Remember to turn the lights off when leaving rooms and throughout the summer try to use your light less often. You’ll be surprised at your savings.

Load appliances wisely

Your appliances use the same amount of energy to run, whatever the size of the load inside. Next time you do laundry, fill up the drum and use cold water, as it is more energy-efficient and doesn’t require running your water heater, which accounts for 14 percent of energy use, from hot showers and other uses, according to Bankrate. For even more savings skip the dry cycle on your dishwasher and be sure to load up this appliance fully, too.

Unplug

Did you know that your devices are using energy even when they are not in use, if they are plugged in? Devices like your computer and television are sucking up energy use, even when they are powered down. To save, unplug the devices around your living space or consider a smart chip that automatically cuts power when devices do not need energy.

Assess your air-conditioning

Your AC isn’t working smart if it is running and you are not home. If you spend most of your time outside or at work during the day be sure to turn your air conditioner off completely or consider programming your thermostat to turn off and on and different points throughout the day for energy savings. Keep your rooms cool while you are away by pulling the blinds down to keep the heat from entering and heating up your apartment.

Use the oven less

Using your oven during the summer months makes your AC work overtime. Instead of turning on the hot oven, opt for recipes that can be made without one like cool dishes, salads and other chilled foods. If you need to heat something up, use your toaster oven, as it doesn’t create as much heat and works great for small portions.

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